A band can’t be successful for 44 years without having to reinvent themselves here and there. Rush, the most acclaimed Canadian Band of all time can say that they have had to alienate some of its fans once in a while in order to continue. The 80′s saw them prioritize their keyboard use in order to mesh in with the current trend. This didn’t fit well for previous progressive fans who found their new sound boring and called them sell outs. Once they came back to a more straight forward rock mentality in the 90′s their new and their old fans left and new ones came in. As the band grew older, all fans starting coming back, as their concerts featured all their catalog and made it one of the most enjoyable around. Today after difficult personal problems and another sort of reinvention they have finally delivered an album worth checking out with Clockwork Angels. Songs like Caravan and Headlong Flight have sufficient prog, pop and straight out rock elements to satisfy all kinds of Rush fans. They fit pretty well with their catalog. The Republika has been looking back to the songs that made them what they are and have decided the 10 best songs ever.
My own personal introduction to Rush ranks among the top 10 songs for its sheer complexity, strong lyrics and great musicality. Every single note on this song is perfectly executed. From the now classic incredible intro to their Moog sounds throughout the song. It takes a little while to get into the song, once it gets going its a tour de force ride that merits multiple listens to get everything it has to offer.
Permanent Waves was an album that introduced a mixture of great prog music with straight forward melodies. Without this album there wouldn’t be no Moving Pictures. Freewill is one of those songs that offer enough of the virtuosity from the three bandmates as well as some of the best lyrics they’ve ever done. A catchy chorus and great riff make this one of their best efforts.
8.-Closer to the Heart
A classic song from their album Farewell to Kings. A song about putting your heart in to what you do. An old favorite that is more feeling than complexity. Rush noticed with their tour in Brazil that fans cherish this song, and is one of the all time favorites for its message and musical genius. No Rush setlist should be without this song as it is Definitely one of their best.
There isn’t an instrumental song in rock and roll that can compare to this song. The only one I can remember that can give it a run for its money is Metallica’s Orion, but even the mighty metal song can’t compete with the complexity and melodic lines YYZ has to offer. A true classic that many will think it might have to rank higher.
6.-The Spirit of Radio
Without a doubt one of the best live songs i’ve ever witnessed. Opening a concert with this song is like throwing your knockout blows or a hail mary in the first minute of competition. The Spirit of Radio also introduces some of the things that have made Rush a band to be reckoned with. Some reggae in the middle of the song? Wow, unheard of. We would listen to this type of things later on with Roll the Bones and their Rap part.
5.-La Villa Strangiato
As an instrumental song this one beats out YYZ for its composition qualities. For the band it represented the pinnacle of their musicianship and virtuosity. No song in their catalog is as complex as this one and even them in their documentary “Behind the lighted stage” address this song as their more difficult one yet to this point.
This is without a doubt one of my favorite songs of all time by any band. Red Barchetta is a very emotional song that may not ring a bell to many but once you get in to it an analyze what these guys are saying you will notice the feelings it involves. Musically speaking, its very impressive, as Neil Peart once again proves why he’s one of the premier drummers in the game.
This must be one of the most underrated Rush songs ever. It evokes feelings that roam deep inside rock and rollers and celebrities alike. Being on the lighted stage is a dream but it may not be for everyone. Musically its not their more celebrated moments but when you add the melody to the harmonic phrases you get one of their top three songs of all time.
A list of Rush songs without this behemoth wouldn’t be complete. 2112 is the title track of the album that was regarded as their consolidation as a band in the music world. It has one of the best intro’s in rock history and continues its fantasy theme throughout the song for more than 20 minutes until it ends with a bang. Truly a masterpiece of a song that would rank on top of this list if it wasn’t for the number one song that simply can’t be denied.
Neil Peart says that every time he plays this song he has to concentrate for its still a challenge. Tom Sawyer is without a doubt the flagship song in Rush’s catalog and unlike many of this type of songs with other bands, this one delivers. From the pace of its rhythm to the tone of its lyrics it is the best Rush has to offer. Now, when you get to the instrumental part and Peart, Lee and Anderson get to work, there is no doubt in my mind that they achieve progressive rock nirvana. Rush at its best is called Tom Sawyer.